Honors Program Coordinator at SUNY Orange One of Six Selected for 2013 Recognition

PHOTO: Elaine TordaMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- SUNY Orange English Professor and Honors Program Coordinator Elaine Torda was recently named a National Collegiate Honors Council Fellow by the council’s Board of Directors. She will be officially recognized during a morning ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 9 during the NCHC’s annual conference in New Orleans, La.

The 2013 Fellows were selected based upon a wide-ranging set of criteria, including national, regional or statewide honors program leadership; scholarly activities related to honors education; involvement in honors special events; recognition for outstanding honors teaching on their home campus; assistance provided to other honors programs and colleges; and a demonstrated record of sustained commitment to honors education.

For Torda, who also serves as chair of the College’s Interdisciplinary Studies Department, the honor comes on the heels of her selection for the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Professional Excellence this past spring.

Torda joined the SUNY Orange faculty in 2000 when she was hired as an English instructor. She has coordinated the College’s growing Honors Program since 2003. She recently completed two terms as vice president of the College’s governance Executive Committee. She has overseen steady growth in SUNY Orange’s Honors Program and guided the program’s expansion to include students on the Newburgh campus.

Torda is a member of the NCHC Board of Directors and just recently completed her sixth year as lead co-chair of the Council’s Two-Year College Committee. Under her supervision and with the aid of faculty mentors from all corners of the College, SUNY Orange’s Honors Students have strongly represented the College via presentations at such prestigious student seminars as the Beacon Conference and the Northeast Regional Honors Council Conference.

According to the NCHC, honors education covers a wide variety of courses, teaching styles and educational objectives, depending upon the institution. Honors programs and courses may attempt to fulfill diverse goals, utilize different teaching approaches, and employ a variety of ways of mastering subject matter. However, the central goal of honors education is academic enrichment.

The SUNY Orange Honors program highlights the cross-disciplinary nature of learning while seeking to augment academic inquiry with cultural awareness, community building, community service and leadership. The College’s program features smaller, discussion-based classes and assignments that allow for individual research and creativity. Faculty members stress the benefits of classroom education as well as the importance of non-traditional learning. Students who complete the Honors program are well-rounded individuals with much to offer colleges, employers and communities.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940